New adult high school set to open Oct. 22


MERS Goodwill will open Springfield’s Goodwill Excel Center at 1514 S. Glenstone Ave. Monday, Oct. 22 to help adults earn their high school diploma free of charge.

There are approximately 500,000 people in Missouri over 21 without a high school diploma. MERS Goodwill hopes that people take advantage of the Goodwill Excel Centers when they open. Educational services will be provided free of charge. Class times will be flexible to accommodate people’s work schedules, and each facility will have a free, drop-in child care center. Those interested in applying can call 314-982-8802 or

MERS Goodwill has hired Director Joseph Cole to lead the Springfield center.

“We are excited to have Joseph on board as we get set to open the Springfield Goodwill Excel Center in just a few short months,” said David Kutchback, president and CEO of MERS Goodwill. “The school will assist adults over the age of 21 to earn high school degrees. A core piece of the program is to help individuals to gain workplace certifications that allow for higher wages and greater career opportunities. We are eager to help individuals earn their degree and continue our mission of ‘changing lives through the power of work’ through this program.”

Cole has spent eight years in various levels of public education in Missouri, six of which were as a classroom teacher. In addition to his experience in education, Cole spent 13 years in various levels of sales and corporate management. Cole received his bachelor’s degree in secondary education social studies from the University of Missouri-Columbia, and his master’s degree in education from Central Methodist University.

“The ability to extend education to those who for whatever reason were unable to receive a high school diploma is not only the greatest honor, but serves as the fuel for my passion,” said Cole. “I cannot wait to open our doors and encourage anyone who knows an adult who has not completed a high school diploma, to seek us out for a free education and begin changing their lives forever.”

An open house to celebrate the grand opening will take place the week of Oct. 15. MERS Goodwill will also open Goodwill Excel Centers in Poplar Bluff and St. Louis in October. The fourth Goodwill Excel Center, located in Columbia, will open in 2019.

About MERS Goodwill

Celebrating 100 years, MERS Goodwill changes lives through the power of work. Its vision is a community where each individual has the opportunity to learn, work, and achieve their greatest potential. Annually serving more than 50,000 individuals, the non-profit agency operates in 75 locations serving 89 counties in the bi-state area. Revenues from 44 Goodwill stores assist with funding MERS Goodwill job training and employment services. MERS Goodwill is a proud member of the United Way. For more information about MERS Goodwill or to find a Goodwill donation center near you, call 314-241-3464 or visit


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